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Latino speaker series to highlight stories of diversity and accomplishment


Students introduce themselves to each other during the first meeting for those interested La Casa Latino Cultural Center in 2010 at the center's location on Seventh Street. About 30 people attended the orientation event.Correction: A previous version of this caption misstated the year of the meeting. The IDS regrets this error. Mark Felix

An IU alumna will speak Wednesday with students, faculty and community members at La Casa Latino Culture center as part of a speaker series focused on the stories of Latino faculty and staff at IU.

The meet and greet is part of a speaker series started this spring by Ph.D student Gavin Mariano meant to focus on stories of adversity and resilience of Latino faculty and staff. Yolanda Treviño, the series’ first speaker, is scheduled to talk about her role as a Latina woman at IU Jan. 15 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at La Casa.

The series will function similarly to a meet-and-greet, rather than a formal lecture, Mariano said. Treviño is currently the only speaker that has been scheduled.


Mariano said he created the speaker series to promote connection and communication among faculty and students. 

“My goal was to create an opportunity for students to interact with people that they otherwise would not have known about or may feel they don’t have access to,” Mariano said. 

As IU’s highest ranking Latina administrator, Treviño serves as a role model for many, Mariano said. 

Treviño is the assistant vice president for strategy, planning and assessment with IU’s Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, OVPDEMA. Treviño develops strategies to improve diversity and inclusion university-wide. 

Mariano met Treviño when he served as the president of the IU Latino Alumni Association. He said he admired Treviño’s humble nature and positive example as a Latina woman.

Yolanda Treviño will speak Jan. 15 to students, faculty and community members at La Casa Latino Culture Center. Courtesy of Indiana University


“She’s someone who is really down-to-earth, even though she has some extraordinary tasks on her plate," Mariano said.

Leticia Gonzalez, senior administrative assistant at La Casa, said this speaker series will be helpful to promote the presence of Latino faculty and staff on campus. 

“It’s a good way to let Latino students know more about faculty on campus and find possible mentors for them,” Gonzalez said.

La Casa offers other mentorship programs, including the Latino Male Initiative, Latina Initiative and Latinx Initiative. These programs provide guidance and resources for Latino students. 

Mariano’s speaker series is open to all faculty, staff, students and community members. 

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Yolanda Treviño's name in one reference due to an editing error. The IDS regrets this error.

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